When Steven Jackson left St. Louis, he left an inexperienced running back corps behind to fend for themselves. With hard work throughout the off-season though, Daryl Richardson has improved greatly, and is currently the starter, while Isaiah Pead has shown glimpses of ability in the returner role. There is one back, however, than many consider to be the biggest steal of the draft. That back is Vanderbilt’s Zac Stacy.
Stacy was selected by the Rams in 5th round and the 160th pick. He played all four years at Vanderbilt, and rushed for 3,143 total yards along with 30 touchdowns in those four seasons. His freshman year, Stacy rushed for a mere 478 yards and three touchdowns, with a decent 4.5 yards per carry rate. Things did not get much better for Stacy his sophomore year: In fact, it got worse, as his rushing total lowered to only 331 yards and three touchdowns. During his sophomore season, Stacy suffered a head injury that put him out of the last three games of the season (he had started three games for the Commodores that year).
It wasn’t until he got the starting role during junior year did Stacy have a breakout performance. He rushed for 1,193 on 201 attempts, along with 14 touchdowns, and a unbelievable 5.9 YPC average. During his final year, he once again broke the 1,000 yard mark, running for 1,141 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns.
Stacy isn’t expected to make a major impact on the Rams just yet, but he is believed to be a solid backup to Daryl Richardon if Pead struggles. With the preseason starting tomorrow, and the starters only playing in the first quarter, expect Stacy to get a decent amount of carries and show what he can do.
The Rams have by far the youngest team in the NFL, with only two players who have played in the league 10 or more years (linebackers Will Witherspoon and Mario Haggan). With Richardson being the only running back with significant NFL experience on the Rams, it will be interesting to see how Stacy plays into the equation, possibly even as a third-down back. Only time will tell if Stacy will have an impact on the Rams, but having him as a credible backup is a start. (Photo Credit: St. Louis Rams official site)